As much as we love to pamper our dogs, when it comes to sharing our food, it isn’t always a good idea. Many of the foods that you eat can be toxic for your canine companion, causing serious complications and health issues for your furry friend (and a lot of heartache and stress, not to mention costly vet bills for you). So before you serve him up a side of your leftovers, make sure you know which people foods your dog eats get the green light, and which snacks are a no-no.
Many fruits and vegetables are actually healthy for your pup, just as they are for you. Blueberries are the perfect example of one of these healthy, dog-friendly human foods. In fact, not only are blueberries safe for your pup, but they also provide useful nutrients and antioxidants to your dog.
The Benefits of Blueberries for Your Dog
Besides the fact that they just taste good, if your dog eats blueberries, he’s apt to experience quite a few benefits. True, your pup is mainly a carnivore, but that doesn’t mean he can’t digest fruits and veggies. On top of that, he can also reap a lot of rewards by eating some now and then, and you can use blueberries to your advantage too.
Blueberries are a superfood for both people and pups alike. These little blue wonders are packed full of beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals, celebrated for their prevention of cell damage that could potentially lead to cancer. Blueberries are also a great source of fiber. One cup of blueberries contains roughly 3.6 grams of dietary fiber. Making sure your pup gets adequate fiber in his diet can help with weight control and digestive issues. It can also keep your pup regular, so he’s less likely to have to deal with uncomfortable gas, constipation, or similar issues.
Blueberries also pack quite a punch in the vitamin and minerals department. They contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Manganese. Vitamin C helps support a healthy immune system, which can help your pup ward off certain infections. Vitamin K assists with blood clotting, and manganese is helpful for bone development and converting proteins, fats, and carbs into energy.
Tasty Training Treats
When you’re training your dog, positive reinforcement is extremely helpful, and having the right reward can make all the difference in your pup’s performance. While training treats are good, offering your dog something super tasty and special can be just the ticket to making him a perfectly well-behaved pooch. For this reason, blueberries can be a great alternative to regular dog treats when you are training. They offer your pup something irresistible, so he’s sure to follow your commands.
Fruity Pill Pockets
Does your dog hate taking pills? It’s okay, a lot of dogs do. In fact, sometimes it can feel like you’ve competed in yet another major endurance test after you give your pup his monthly heartworm medication. It can also get old pretty quickly. But you have to give your dog his medicine, so what do you do?
The pet market has come up with a way to help with this common problem in the form of doggy “pill pockets.” But, if your pup is crazy about blueberries, you could just as easily carve out a little spot in one of the yummy fruits and stick in your pup’s pill. No more stressing when it’s time to give your dog his medicine.
Keep Your Dog Focused
Dogs love anything they get to eat that isn’t their usual dog food. Bring a handful of blueberries along on your walk and use them to refocus your pup when he pulls on his leash or starts to get distracted.
If you need to keep your pup entertained for an extended period of time, try putting a few blueberries inside of his Rolly Cannoli. Blueberries are the perfect size for this. If you want, mix them up with a little bit of peanut butter to give your dog an even bigger (and tastier) challenge.
Speaking of peanut butter and blueberries, if you feel like getting crafty in the kitchen, try making this yummy DIY treat for your pup! He’s sure to lick his lips with delight!
Peanut Butter Blueberry Dog Treats
- 6 cups of rolled oats (regular or quick)
- 1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup of applesauce
- 6 generous tablespoons of peanut butter
You will also need some cookie sheets and a food processor.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and grease the cookie sheets (or use sheets of parchment paper to line them). Add the rolled oats into the food processor bowl and pulse for about 10 to 20 seconds. Next, add the remaining ingredients, and mix until fully blended.
Scoop out the dough in large handfuls and start rolling into logs (just like you did with playdough as a kid). Then break off small pieces of the dough log and roll between your hands to create a ball. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets, and use your thumb to press down on each ball to create a thumbprint impression.
Bake the treats in the oven for roughly 25-30 minutes, keeping an eye on them as they start to approach the 20-minute mark. Take them out of the oven when they start to brown around the edges. Let the treats cool and then serve one to your pup. You can store the treats in an airtight container for a few months.
Tips for When Your Dog Eats Blueberries
While blueberries are a safe and healthy snack for your pup, it’s important to make sure he eats them in moderation. Offer blueberries as an occasional treat, or add a couple of berries to his dog bowl at dinner time. Basically, any kind of treats you give your pup should only make up about 10% of his daily calories.
Pups can enjoy fresh or frozen blueberries. However, keep in mind the size of your pup. Although most blueberries are small and won’t need to be cut up, small dogs could possibly choke on berries that are oversized. Therefore, if you think a blueberry is too big for your dog, play it safe and cut it in half, or even quarters, before serving it to him.
When you first give your dog blueberries, watch him closely to make sure he doesn’t have any adverse reactions or allergies to the fruit. If you have any concerns or questions, talk to your vet. Although blueberries are considered safe for dogs, it doesn’t mean every dog will be able to eat them with no problems.
Overall, blueberries make a great treat for your pup, and they’re healthy for both him and you, making them the perfect snack to share with your canine pal. Just make sure your dog doesn’t think he gets to eat everything that you do; you don’t want to start any bad habits. For more tips about your dog’s diet and everything else pet-related, check out the rest of our blog. We’ve got all kinds of helpful resources and info ready to make you an even better pet parent!